Wellington Rocks

A crevice you can only squeeze in
as a six year old: lithe enough
to wriggle free of parents’ gaze,
small enough to vanish in the split.

Castle walls you can only scale
at seven: perpendicular, with one way up,
a view to fortify against adults
hurling thoughts at one other.

Bracken you can jungle in
at eight: lost in summer shade,
a stolen penknife sharper than the words
still puncturing your ears.

At eighteen, all the green and bronze
greyed out by traffic: and you,
lessened by school, too big to fit
into the only bit of growing up you’d keep.


This poem has also appeared in Message in a Bottle.


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